FAQ

Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions.

General

What is FAIR and what is its purpose?

FAIR (Fellowship Aid and International Relief) is the humanitarian aid and social justice department within the National Ministry Centre of The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. FAIR exists to alleviate human suffering and social injustice, and seeks to be the key channel through which Fellowship churches provide humanitarian aid in Christ’s name. For more information on FAIR’s Strategic Direction, visit our Mission and Vision page.


How do I donate to FAIR?

Donations to FAIR appeals and projects can be made by cheque or money order, through pre-authorized payments, or credit card either online or by phone.


Will I receive a tax receipt for donations to FAIR?

Donations over $10 to all FAIR appeals and projects are tax receiptable. At the time the donation is received, we will issue an acknowledgement of your donation, and a tax receipt for the total amount given within a calendar year is issued in early February. You can choose to receive acknowledgements and tax receipts either by email or mail.


What percentage of FAIR funds are used for administration?

In order to assist with the promotion of projects and sustain other FAIR functions, funds received are subject to an administration fee of between 10% and 15%. When a project involves partnership with another organization, an agreement is made to ensure that no more than 15% is taken for administration between both organizations.


Appeals/Projects

What is the difference between an appeal and a project?

FAIR develops and promotes a variety of initiatives with the goal of alleviating suffering and social injustice through the strategic use of the funds raised. These initiatives fall into two categories – appeals and projects. An appeal refers to any fundraising initiative that has a distinct promotional period. This includes special appeals, mini appeals, and urgent appeals. Projects are longer term initiatives with small or no distinct goals due to their ongoing nature, and can be found in the FAIR Catalogue.


What is a special appeal?

These larger scale fundraising initiatives are released bi-annually with the Fall and Winter editions of the Thrive magazine. Special appeals typically have a large project scope and financial goal. They are run in partnership with either a Fellowship International missionary or partner organization. Examples include large infrastructure repairs, facility improvements, and the initiation of high-impact programs that will become self-sustaining.


How are special appeals promoted?

Special appeals are actively promoted by FAIR staff in Fellowship churches, and as well in digital and hard copy. FAIR releases two special appeals per year, one in the winter (January – April) and a second in the fall (September – December). A hard copy mailing and email are sent at the beginning of the promotion period to FAIR’s mailing list. This list is made up of Fellowship churches and pastors, individuals, and organizations who have supported FAIR projects in the past 18 months, and individuals who have asked to be placed on the mailing list.


How can I be added to the FAIR mailing list?

You can be added to the FAIR mailing list by contacting us.


If a special appeal is “closed” does that mean that I can no longer donate to it?

Although special appeals are only actively promoted for a few months, the reality is that FAIR frequently receives donations to these initiatives well past the promotion period. The majority of FAIR’s special appeals are designed to address one of many needs. Funds received beyond the scope of the initial appeal goal are either used to supplement additional costs related to the initiative or are used in a way that extends the scope of the initiative while still reflecting the spirit of the original appeal.

Examples:

  1. Continued support for the Safe Haven (Lebanon) appeal in spring 2014 has meant that three apartments could be built by Fall 2017 instead of the single apartment proposed in the original appeal.
  2. Support above the goal for the Rebuilding Innocence (Philippines) appeal in winter 2017 meant that the scope of the appeal could be extended. The initial goal amount of $120,000 went towards the original focus of starting a foster care program for children rescued from cybersex trafficking. The additional funds received were then used to increase the ability to evaluate the survivors’ needs once rescued.

What are mini-appeals?

These smaller fundraising initiatives are released during or between the promotion periods of special appeals. Mini-appeals typically have a smaller financial goal and focus on enhancing and supporting existing ministries run by Fellowship International missionaries on a one-time basis. Examples include the purchase of supplies for vocational training or children’s programs.


How are mini-appeals promoted?

Promotion of mini-appeals is two-fold. An initial email is sent to a list of donors who have supported either the missionary involved or projects within the same country. Mini-appeals are also communicated primarily through social media for two to three months. You can learn about mini-appeals and receive other FAIR and National updates by liking us on Facebook (FellowshipNatl), Twitter (@FellowshipNatl) and Instagram (@FellowshipNatl).


If a mini-appeal is no longer being promoted, does that mean that I can no longer make a donation?

Due to the short promotional period for mini-appeals, they typically don’t meet their goal in the initial timeframe. However, the needs represented by these appeals are frequently ongoing in nature and so donations can still be made to them long after the promotional period has ended. If deemed appropriate, the mini-appeal may also be transitioned to the FAIR Catalogue as an ongoing project.


What is an urgent appeal?

These projects are initiated in response to a natural or man-made emergency situation (i.e. natural disaster, famine, displacement of people due to war and/or unrest, etc.). They are launched as soon as possible after the initial crisis. These projects usually focus on enabling the local church to provide relief and rebuilding support to those who have been most affected by the crisis. Urgent appeals are run in partnership with either a Fellowship International missionary or partner organization.


What is FAIR’s protocol when responding to emergency relief and aid needs?

Obviously FAIR cannot respond to all emergencies happening around the world. Before committing itself to a project, FAIR asks such questions as:

  • Has there been interest expressed by Fellowship churches and individuals to support relief and aid efforts?
  • Can FAIR guarantee that the aid will reach those in greatest need?
  • Does FAIR have partners on the ground in the country or location hardest hit? Do those partners have the capacity to distribute aid and relief on behalf of FAIR? Is there a clear plan in place with realistic goals set to ensure those most affected will receive the help they need?
  • Can we be assured that along with the aid delivered, we can tangibly express the love of Christ and even have an opportunity to share the Gospel?
  • How does the partner plan to distribute aid? Is the local church involved in distributing aid? Does the aid distribution include a relationship-building and Gospel-sharing component?
  • Is it possible to carry out the project without undue administrative costs?
  • What are the typical administrative costs of the partner and how can FAIR and the partner compromise to keep the administrative costs below 15%?

What are Catalogue projects?

Catalogue projects are featured either in our hardcopy or online FAIR Catalogue. These projects focus on enhancing existing ministries run by Fellowship International missionaries (i.e. purchasing supplies for vocational training) on an ongoing basis. At times, mini-appeals or partner organization projects with finite timelines may also be highlighted in Catalogue Feature Projects publications. Examples include well projects, ongoing children’s home support, and ongoing medical supply needs.


How does FAIR evaluate the success of the projects?

Reaching the financial goal is one way to measure FAIR’s success. Field personnel manage and monitor success through assessing the positive impact the project has had physically, emotionally, and spiritually on those who have received help. We also measure success through the growing number of partnerships created between FAIR and our Fellowship churches. Our vision is that FAIR be the key channel through which Fellowship churches provide humanitarian aid in Christ’s name.


How does FAIR keep donors up to date on appeals and projects?

FAIR provides updates as they are received from the field. Updates typically initially focus on the amount of funds received. However, as funds are used and lives are impacted, FAIR receives stories and shares these with donors. Updates on various FAIR-related appeals and projects are included in FAIR Reports which are sent out three times a year with the special appeal mailing. They are also included in the Fellowship National’s Quarterly Report which is sent out four times a year to all Fellowship National donors. Updates are also shared through social media and the FAIR blog every Thursday. You can receive all the FAIR and National updates by liking us on Facebook (FellowshipNatl), Twitter (@FellowshipNatl) and Instagram (@FellowshipNatl).


How does FAIR decide which ministries to support?

FAIR primarily initiates appeals and projects or programs where humanitarian aid adds value, is sustainable, and does not create dependency. FAIR prioritizes working, in Christ’s name, through the Fellowship International department and its missionary personnel.


FAIR Resources

What is the FAIR Catalogue?

The Love Extended FAIR Catalogue of Projects is a resource that showcases projects which are typically ongoing or small in nature and fall outside of the typical appeal scope. The full list of Catalogue projects is available online.


Is there a hard copy version of the FAIR Catalogue?

The last hard copy version of the FAIR Catalogue was produced for 2016/2017. As of September 2017, FAIR will no longer produce the full version Catalogue in hard copy. However, the complete list of current Catalogue projects is available online. In order to promote new or special need projects to our donors, FAIR produces a single page brochure called the Love Extended FAIR Catalogue Feature Projects. This smaller promotional resource highlights a number of new and/or ongoing Catalogue projects, and is produced twice a year and distributed along with the special appeal mailings in January and September.


How does the FAIR Catalogue Feature Projects brochure work?

Each project has a description of the project focus, and includes either suggested donation amounts or an overall goal, along with a prayer request. Donors are encouraged to consider each project as an opportunity to respond to God’s generosity through giving to the needs presented. To make a donation, simply fill out the attached response form with all your contact information.


How does the online FAIR Catalogue work?

Each project has its own page including a description of the project focus, either suggested donation amounts or an overall goal, a prayer request and an indication of the project overseer. You can browse through all of the projects or use the filter and search options to find specific projects. If you would like to support several different projects, you may add your donation to the gift basket and continue browsing the projects. Once you’re finished, you can then proceed to checkout.


Do suggested donations actually go towards the described items?

For most Catalogue projects, the suggested donation amounts are simply a visualization tool to help you realize that in many cases, even the smallest donation can have an impact. However, there are some projects where the suggested amount corresponds directly to the need. An example of this is the Hand-Me-Downs project in Japan, where the suggested amount reflects the shipping cost for a box of used toys and clothing.


Do I get a tax receipt for donations to FAIR Catalogue projects?

Donations over $10 to all FAIR appeals and projects, including Catalogue projects, are tax receiptable. At the time the donation is received, we will issue an acknowledgement of your donation, and a tax receipt for the total amount given within a calendar year is issued in early February. You can choose to receive acknowledgements and tax receipts either by email or mail.


What is the FAIR bank?

The FAIR bank is a box that is a great tool for saving up change to support projects that can have big impacts. Whether you’re interested in supporting the current special or urgent appeal or have your eye on one of our FAIR Catalogue Projects, the FAIR bank will help you get involved in alleviating suffering and social injustice in a meaningful way.


What are the ways I or my church can use the FAIR bank?

Sunday School – Select a FAIR project to promote throughout your Sunday School class, department or entire Sunday School program. Distribute banks to participants and promote and encourage participation through the length of the project.

Home – Distribute FAIR banks to church families and encourage them to promote this within their family for a specified time. This works well with FAIR’s Extending Love at Christmas Advent Calendar or to raise funds for a specific FAIR project.

Church Family – Some churches promote a specific FAIR project a couple times a year and encourage their congregation to save loose change in their banks for the specific FAIR project for a specified length of time.


How do I use the FAIR bank with my family?

  • Each night empty excess coin into your bank.
  • Encourage others in your household to deposit their coins into the bank.
  • After you’ve collected coins and bills, count it up and deposit it with your financial institution.
  • Send a cheque in that amount payable to FAIR to: P.O. Box 457 Guelph ON N1H 6K9.
  • Make sure you include your name, full mailing address and phone/email information so that we may issue you a tax receipt.
  • If you wish the funds to go to a specific project, write the name of the project on your cheque.

How can my church, children’s program or small group use the FAIR bank?

  • Distribute banks to families, children or individuals for their use.
  • Select a “collection date” (from a month away to several months away) and instruct people to return their banks by that date.

What is the FAIR Advent Calendar?

The Advent Calendar is a thoughtful and thought-provoking way to make a contribution to those in need during the Christmas season. The Extending Love at Christmas Advent Calendar outlines a unique approach to remembering and being thankful for the things with which we have been blessed while being a blessing to others.


How do I use the Advent Calendar?

Following the idea of an advent “calendar”, participants are guided each day to read a specific suggestion for giving and dropping a few coins into a jar (FAIR bank). For example, on Day 5 participants are to deposit in their FAIR bank 10 cents for each bed in their house. The suggestions relate to the basics — healthy food, clean water, and warm comfortable living — that Canadians often take for granted but seem so luxurious to many families living in developing countries. At the conclusion of the calendar, the funds are tallied and forwarded (via cheque) to FAIR to benefit one of the FAIR projects.


Where can I get FAIR resources?

Bulk or individual copies of the FAIR Catalogue Feature Projects, FAIR bank and FAIR Advent Calendar are available free of charge upon request by contacting FAIR by email or by phone at 519-821-4830 x 240.


Partnerships

Why does FAIR partner with other organizations?

FAIR seeks to provide Fellowship churches and individuals with a variety of avenues for getting involved in alleviating suffering and social injustice. That being said, FAIR is limited to the countries where we currently have personnel, as well as the resources we can create with our current administrative structure.

Through partnerships with other organizations, FAIR gains access to the numerous projects and programs they have already established and for which they carry a large part of the administrative structure and related costs as well as required personnel.  This allows FAIR to expand the scope of our ministry and contribute to ministries and needs where the partner is present and has expertise and experience not shared by Fellowship personnel. 

In partnering with donor churches FAIR opens the door for these churches to have a great level of participation in the overall project or program to which they are financially committed.  It also provides opportunities for churches to directly involve their members in humanitarian/social ministry.  For example, short-term missions trips.


With whom does FAIR partner?

When deemed advantageous, FAIR establishes either a documented formal partnership or informal agreement with Fellowship churches, Fellowship Regions or external organizations to accomplish its ministry, projects, and programs.


Why would our donors not donate directly to our partner organization in a project instead of to FAIR?

Donors are free to donate as they choose, but they need to consider the added benefits of channeling the donation through FAIR.

  • By choosing to donate through FAIR donors are recognizing that:
    -FAIR drew the need to their attention.
    -FAIR provides timely accountability/activity reports to donors, informing of the results of their participation in the project.
    -They will be supporting the overall ministry of the Fellowship.
  • In a project partnership, FAIR addresses the issue of duplicate administrative assessment. A maximum of 15% of any donation remains in Canada to cover promotional, fundraising, and administrative costs. Each partner receives a share of this percentage.
  • Project partnerships are seriously investigated and executed to ensure that donations are used for their original purpose and are accurately accounted for through regular reporting.
  • When donating to a project partner that is not a Canadian Registered Charity donors cannot expect a tax receipt valid in Canada.

Which organizations does FAIR currently partner with?

FAIR currently has formal partnerships with International Justice Mission, Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, and BridgeNorth. To learn more about these partnerships, click here.

FAIR has also had informal agreements with Operation Mobilization, Emmanuel International, the Baptist Relief and Development (BReaD) network, and Samaritan’s Purse. These informal partnerships have enabled FAIR to act swiftly in response to emergency situations in countries where there are no Fellowship personnel or where the partner is already well established and able to respond quickly.


Refugee Sponsorship

How is FAIR involved in refugee sponsorship?

FAIR has a formal partnership with Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada (C&MA) who is a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH). This partnership allows Fellowship churches to sponsor refugees as Constituent Groups (CGs) under C&MA’s SAH umbrella.


What refugee sponsorship services are available to Fellowship churches through FAIR?

FAIR provides a contact person within the Fellowship National Ministry Centre who helps Fellowship churches by:

  • Answering refugee sponsorship related questions.
  • Advising on the best course of action based on each case.
  • Advising during the application process, including reviewing the paperwork and ensuring all necessary components are included.
  • Acting as a liaison between the church and the C&MA refugee sponsorship personnel including but not limited to:
    -Sourcing language and translation assistance where needed,
    -Informing church representatives of education opportunities for the sponsorship group,
    -Communicating about sponsorship-related legal inquiries.

Who should I contact if my church is interested in sponsoring a refugee but don’t know where to start?

All refugee sponsorship enquiries should be directed to the FAIR Administrative Assistant by email or by phone (519-821-4830 x 240).

(Quebec churches are invited to click here in order to get refugee sponsorship information related to their province.)